Study of Popular Romance - New Journal and organization

Monday, June 09, 2008 0 Comments A+ a-

I'm a little late in posting this but, if you haven't already heard, there's a new journal & organization geared to academic study of popular romance literature. The romance community is really jazzed about this focus on the genre. Romance usually gets dismissed as fluff (science fiction fans also know this treatment as well) and with this organization the genre could be taken more seriously. The cool thing is the focus on romantic literature as it pertains to our society. Not surprising romantic relationships show up in other "serious" genres for exploring the human condition so it's high time that we get down to the nitty gritty itself with studying stories that are driven by love and romance in itself.

Science fiction is usually an outlet for authors to explore what it means to be human. Romance is usually seen as escapist fare when a single boy meets girl story leads to a satisfying happy ending. But what does the journey say about what it means to be human, to love and need another for companionship? Why has the resurgence in alpha males thrived in paranormal romance literature? What does it say about our current society's expectations for men's roles in relationships?

There's a bevy of wonderful topics to explore within the growing amount of subgenres explored with new book releases. I'm looking forward to seeing this organization grow.

IASPR and JPRS: Call for PEOPLE


This is a Call For People, rather than a Call For Papers. It is time for an academic society for the study of popular romance fiction, with all the rights and privileges appertaining thereunto, like a journal and conferences. So we have decided to start one! "We" being myself, Eric Selinger, and a few other people who are already interested in being involved.

The society will be called The International Association for the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR) and the journal will be an online, open-source journal called The Journal of Popular Romance Studies (JPRS).

So, we're looking for people who might be interested in helping us build these institutions. Do you want to get in on the ground floor? Do you already have experience in the hierarchy of an academic organization or with an academic journal that you'd love to share with us, even if you don't want to be involved in the day-to-day aspects of running either? Please let us know! For minimum involvement, for example, we're going to need people to act as peer reviewers for the journal, so please let us know your specific area of interest in romance novels (paranormals? inspirationals? Regencies? heroes? romances published in the 1950s?). For maximum involvement, we're going to need journal editors and IASPR board members. We especially need the input of people who might have done any of this before, so you can at least tell us what to avoid! :)

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